The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 12: Chapter 12 (Intermission) - Tell Me Honestly

There’s a knock on my door, which surprises me so much that for a moment I don’t say anything. Most people just kind of barge in. Once I realise someone’s waiting to come in, I shake my head and slide my paperwork across the desk - it can wait.

“Come in.”

The door opens, and a beautiful blonde girl, with the tips dyed red, comes in. I’m reminded of a similar time when this happened, a couple of years ago, and prepare myself for a similarly interesting conversation.

“Commander.” Selena says to me, sitting down opposite my desk.

“Selena. Everything alright?”

Selena’s face falls, and she begins staring at the floor. “I… wanted to talk to you about something.”

“Go for it.” I say. I have a feeling I know what this is going to be about. I can’t say I’m surprised.

“I just… want to know if you’re alright with us. With the situation. As it stands.” Selena replies. “I’ve always said that regardless of how I feel, I would… I would be happy to serve as your soldier.”

“You’ve turned down every promotion you’ve been offered, just to stay as my soldier.” I murmur. “I do appreciate that.”

“But I never asked how you feel about it.” Selena says, looking up at me with a distinct, awful sadness in her eyes. “Do I make you uncomfortable? I was so wrapped up in my own feelings that I never thought about what you want. You’re married now, so maybe I’m just… making things more complicated than they need to be.”

For a few moments, I stare at her. This girl really is something else - after all the time she’s spent mooning over me, turning down opportunities to improve in her career, watching me go from strength to strength and marry the woman I love, she’s worried about me? Truly remarkable. No wonder I like her so much.

“I’ll be honest, Selena, it came up in discussion with Nell when we were first discussing settling down together.”

Selena blushes hotly. “It… it did?”

“We were lying there one night, and apropos of nothing, Nell just asked me ‘How do you feel about Selena?’ It was a difficult question.”

“What did you say?”

“I told her the truth. I said, ‘I like Selena. She’s pretty and intelligent, a talented soldier and seems to understand me better than most. I’d be lying if I said I felt nothing for her.’ I… wasn’t sure how Nell was going to take it.” I say, thinking back to that night, lying in bed, staring up at the dark ceiling as I waited for Nell’s reply.

Selena remains quiet, listening to my story, her eyes glimmering.

“Nell eventually said ‘I’m not surprised. Thanks for your honesty, my dude. I’ve always appreciated that about you.’ I was like, ‘You’re not mad?’ and she shook her head. I always remembered what she said next.”

I look up at Selena, giving her a gentle smile.

“She said ‘Humans are born to love, and to imagine that we could only love one person our entire lives would be incorrect. It would be wrong of me to judge you for that - to love is an unconscious, uncontrollable thing. To act on it is where the moral quandary lies.’”

“She really is incredible.” whispers Selena. “So, she really doesn’t mind?”

“Well, she was in a similar situation with Grit and Max, so she couldn’t really throw stones.” I say. “After that, she rephrased her question. ‘You have feelings for Selena. That is unconscious. So, the question I really ought to be asking is: will you ever act on them?’”

“Of course not. We’re not like that, either of us.” Selena says. I nod.

“That’s what I said to Nell. And she was satisfied with that.”

“I see.” Selena says, thinking quietly to herself for a few moments. Eventually, she looks back up at me, and now I can’t read her expression. “So, to go back to my original question… am I making things more complicated?”

“Selena, life’s complicated.” I reply, leaning back in my chair. “But that’s what I love about it. I’m Commander my dude, chaotic and complicated, silly and unpredictable. Why would I ever want life to be simple?”

Selena laughs, and it’s the most wonderful sound I’ve heard all day. Much better than Rachel barging into my office to complain about my shoddy paperwork, which she does at least once a week.

“I suppose you’re right. Well… in that case, I suppose nothing needs to change. We’re alright as we are.”

“Of course. Selena, I never want you to stop being my soldier, if that makes you happy. But if you do ever want to move on, feel free. OK?”

“I might. Sometime.” Selena replies, standing up. “But for now, I’ll be here. Thank you, my dude, for putting my mind at ease.”

“Anytime. What are ACOs for, huh?”

Selena smiles softly as she walks away from me, pausing just as she opens my office door.

“You’re a lot more than just an ACO to this army, my dude.”